Reviews

I Know This Wasn’t Much

  When writing about The Unnameable, some critics prefer to use the term “interlocutor” rather than the “narrator,” since narrator implies a subjective position that is difficult to locate in Beckett’s novel.  Indeed, while reading, it sometimes feels like the words are not being spoken so much as they are foaming out of some unknown source. Advertisements

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Reviews

Further Disclosure: I Am a Clown

Bill Irwin—who reminds us several times throughout On Beckett that he is in his “dotage”—is a member of a fading profession.  In the ‘seventies, he trained at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College, a defunct school named after a company that closed after over a century just last year.  The vaudeville tradition he adores […]

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Reviews

Vienna Waits for You

The Elevator Repair Service is best known for their radical minimalist productions; perhaps their most famous is Gatz, an eight-hour reading of The Great Gatsby in its entirety.  I was admittedly ambivalent, then, about their Measure for Measure: would director John Collins and his cast and crew suit the text to the concept or the concept to […]

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Reviews

Not Long Now

Beckett blinded his characters.  He struck them mute, rendered them impotent.  He crippled them, starved them, widowed them, and burdened them with diseases.  But he never abandoned his affection for them.

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Reviews

Somebody Planted This on Me

The title says it all: The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World aka The Negro Book of the Dead is about the death and burial of a character named only Black Man with Watermelon (Daniel J. Watts).  His wife, Black Woman with Fried Drumstick (Roslyn Ruff), remains haunted by this death and […]

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Reviews

Is This It, Sir? History?

Just as William Snelgrave (Gordon Joseph Weiss) and his wife, Darcy (Concetta Tomei), are nearing the end of their quarantine, two interlopers break into their home and the clock resets.  It’s 1665, the year of the Great Plague that would kill almost one quarter of London’s population.  King Charles II and his family have fled […]

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Reviews

I Wondered What Robert Newton Would Think of This

Clive Owen drapes both hands over the arms of his chair. With a taut stillness that could be mistaken for calm, he looks exactly like a lion in the moments before it will pounce. One gets the feeling he could rape or murder without mussing up his suit or disheveling his thickly gelled hair. His movements […]

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